Setting goals

A well-constructed and well-considered goal can be extremely motivating and rewarding. For example, if you are looking to develop new business, set the sales team a goal to make a certain number of cold calls. Need to increase customer satisfaction? Set a target for the time it takes for supervisors to resolve complaints, and keep track of positive customer feedback.

Knowledge sharing, and mentoring has seen many entrepreneurs set a single, specific, number goals to focus efforts. At first, it makes sense. Single number goals are clear with no room for misunderstanding or interpretation. But there are other factors that influence whether people will pursue a goal.

Two of the more important factors are challengeand attainability. People want to feel challenged so they feel a sense of accomplishment when they reach the target. If the challenge is too easy, the goal will likely demotivate rather than inspire. But, don’t make the goal unattainable – asking too much can be daunting, even disheartening. it is vital that any goal has the right balance. And this can be difficult with single-number goals.

Emerging evidence suggests that entrepreneurs who make high-low goals (goals that have a high-low range that averages the same, e.g. open 18 – 22 new accounts this month) will see their team achieve goals. The reason being, high-low goals are challenging and attainable.

One of the many challenges that managers face is sustained efforts towards achieving wider organisational goals. So use the high-low goal to achieve greater success.

But with anything, there is a limitation to use. High-low goals are likely to be most effective for employees who are revisiting a goal rather than being set a new one. Restricting the opportunities to use high-low goals teams or individuals revisiting goals e.g. missing last quarter’s new client meeting target, still gives you plenty of opportunities to test its impact on your team.

Test it in your organisation, and see how it effects your team for the rest of 2018,


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